This is the last blog in a 3 part series about the habit of rescuing others. Habits are hard to break. Breaking the habit of rescuing others is even harder because it involves you and someone else who has come to expect things from you. Without realizing what you have created by continuing to ‘be there in a pinch’ you may see that an entitlement mentality has developed. If so, we must ask ourselves if we are really helping them through their latest ‘crisis’ or actually causing them to become more dependent, or at least expectant on us, over the long haul. Think of holding a young child’s hand when they are learning to walk. You wouldn’t think of continuing to hold their hand throughout their adult life right? That would make them weak, insecure and emotionally dependent. A continual pattern of rescuing others actually hurts rather than helps them. What we do want is for them to develop resiliency in life. The ability to bounce back from their own life challenges. The Universe gives each of us exactly the challenges we have chosen to learn in this lifetime. There is no lesson learned by someone else fixing our problems. Sadly, the lessons will continue in frequency and intensity until we alone handle them ourselves. The following poem written by an unknown author sums up the importance of not rescuing others.
To ‘let go’ does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t continue to fix life for someone else.
To ‘let go’ is not to cut myself out of the picture but
to realize that I can’t fix every scene.
To ‘let go’ is not to continually enable crisis thinking
but to have enough faith in them to change it.
To ‘let go’ is to admit powerlessness,
which means I can’t fix their life, they must do it themselves.
To ‘let go’ is not to blame or try to change them
but to accept how they choose to live their life.
To ‘let go’ is not to care for
but to care about.
To ‘let go’ is not to be in the middle, arranging the outcomes
but to allow them to experience their chosen destiny.
To ‘let go’ is not to be overly protective
but to permit another to face their own reality.
To ‘let go’ is to have enough faith in another
to allow them to learn their own life lessons.
To ‘let go’ is to fear less and love more.
Each of us must learn to set our own boundaries, limits and expectations. When we truly love others enough we begin to practice being a good listener and supportive when they face life challenges but resist the temptation to just fix it one last time. We become strong enough to recognize the difference between enabling and disabling others from our actions. Over time, as we back away, we will see those same people who had come to rely on us handle their own situations and we can take pride in realizing that we had enough love and faith in them to know they could do it!
Have a great few days!